WINDHAM — Following the resignation Monday evening of Windham Mayor Deborah Blewitt, Village Council President Scott Garrett was sworn in as mayor Tuesday.
Blewitt resigned after it became evident she would be accepted by council as the village administrator, a part-time, 30-hour-a-week, $20,000-a-year position. According to Garrett, council approved her resignation Monday night; her new position was approved Tuesday in a unanimous vote.
Blewitt said she was upset by the controversy and personal attacks that come with being mayor.
“I got tired of apologizing to my children and my grandchildren,” she said.
Blewitt was appointed mayor in March 2016 and was elected to the post in November 2017.
Garrett is well prepared to serve as mayor, she added.
“He sat on council for 20 years; he’ll make a very good mayor,” she said.
For his part, Garrett said he will do his best to serve the community.
“This is a new position for me,” he said. “I will work hard to do my best and put the village’s interests first and push our agenda forward.”
Garrett said Blewitt will officially start Wednesday as the village administrator. Assisting her will be assistant administrator Elizabeth Derthick and Maurice Hankins, the former administrator who will serve as a consultant through the end of the year.
Blewitt said her position is similar to that of a service director in a city. She will take responsibility for the water and sewer lines, paving, sidewalks, water distribution, maintenance of vehicles and equipment, and road maintenance.
Councilman Phil Snyder was chosen to serve as president of the council.
The coming year is looking to be a busy one for the village of 2,000-plus residents. Blewitt said the city is planning to replace water lines on East Center Street, as well as install about 30 new fire hydrants.
Bower Avenue will receive new water and sewer lines, get new storm sewers and be rebuilt.
Several other roads will be paved, and the village’s two water towers will be painted and receive a protective coating inside, according to Hankins, who added that Blewitt “is going to do a good job.”
Blewitt, who is retired, said she plans to work hard in the position.
“I’m a hometown girl; I’ve been here 65 years, and I want the best for my community,” she said. “Of course I’m going to work hard.”
Reporter Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, email@example.com and @bobgaetjens_rpc.